The Crown evolved out of Morgan's 2006 film The Queen and 2013 stage play The Audience. The series is intended to last 60 episodes over six seasons, with 10 one-hour episodes per season, covering Elizabeth's life from her younger years to her reign, and with new actors being cast every two seasons. Claire Foy portrays the Queen in the first two seasons, alongside Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. For the third and fourth seasons, Olivia Colman will take over as the Queen, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. Filming for the series takes place at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, with location shooting throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.
The first season was released on Netflix on November 4, 2016, with the second released on December 8, 2017. The series has been renewed for a third and fourth season, and was praised for its direction, writing, cinematography, production values, the relatively accurate historical account of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and particularly for the first season performances of Foy in the leading role and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill. It has received several accolades, including winning Best Actress and Best Actor at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards for Foy and Lithgow, respectively, and receiving thirteen nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series.